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20 Weight Loss Strategies

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Three months into 2017, and you’ve decided that it’s time to start working on that annual weight-loss resolution. This morning was the tipping point; you decided to wear your favorite pair of slacks to work, and discovered that you couldn’t even get them zipped. Even though you’re not a slug and you don’t eat that bad, the weight has somehow managed to creep up. You know changes need to happen to get that waistline down, but there’s so much weight-loss information swirling around on the web that it’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t. You need a plan that is simple, yet reasonable, to get the results you want.

There are two fundamental principles consider as you go through the steps of setting up your plan: successful weight loss involves a commitment to regular exercise and making wise nutrition choices. Here are five strategies to get you started with an exercise program that will achieve maximum fat burning:

Five strategies to achieve maximum fat burning

  1. Begin with 20-30 minutes of moderate activity 3-4 days per week for 4-6 weeks. Once you’ve established a good conditioning base, shoot for an exercise frequency of 5-6 days per week.ACSM recommends greater than 250 total minutes of exercise weekly for weight loss.

  1. Use a combination of strength and aerobic (cardio) training; strength training will build muscle that fires up fat-burning, and aerobic training will burn off that fat. Strength train three days per week and do your aerobic training 3-5 days per week. If you’re doing both on the same day, hit the aerobic first thing in the morning or after your strength training.

  1. Mix up your aerobic workouts; cross-train with running, biking, rowing, climbing, hiking, and swimming; use a variety of cardio machines to keep your body from adapting to one mode, which will keep your metabolism revved up.

  1. Seek out different types of exercise that will challenge you. People at the intermediate to advanced level should consider HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) because it decreases exercise time and increases intensity, which is highly effective for creating a longer duration of fat-burning.

  1. Find an exercise buddy, join a class, or use personal trainer; each will increase motivation and accountability.

The prime factor influencing weight gain is poor eating habits. Your nutrition plan will take some work, but it’s not as complicated as most of us think. Below are fifteen ways to improve your eating patterns:

Improve Your Eating Paterns

  1. Calculate your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) by multiplying your bodyweight in pounds by 13. Then determine the number of calories you’re burning each exercise session. Total these up, then multiply your BMR by 7, and add the two together. Next, divide that number by seven; this is your daily caloric expenditure. Set a goal of keeping your daily calorie consumption reasonably below that figure.

  2. Eat breakfast every day. Eat a combination of 30-40 grams of lean protein, a serving of complex carbohydrate, and 1 serving of raw fruit with a low glycemic index.

  1. Eat 5-6 times daily, which will cause thermogenesis, and kick up metabolism.

  1. Stay well-hydrated. Drink 1 oz. per 2lbs of body weight daily. Stick with straight water, black coffee, and tea. Drinking cold water will help increase fat-burning capability.

  1. Keep intake of starchy carbohydrates (bread, pasta, potatoes) low; choose those with a low glycemic index (sweet potatoes).

  1. Increase intake of non-starchy vegetables (tomatoes, cabbage, and spinach).

  1. Gradually cut out canned, processed, packaged and junk foods as much as possible. Buy foods that are raw and prepare them yourself.

  1. Decrease saturated fats (animal fat, vegetable oils) as much as possible and replace them with poly and mono-unsaturated fats (olive, flaxseed, and coconut oils, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and avocados).

  1. Limit intake of foods made with white refined sugar and white refined flour (baked goods).

  1. Eat 25-35 grams of fiber daily (oatmeal, beans). Fiber absorbs water, makes you feel satisfied, and lowers insulin levels.

  1. Consume 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.

  1. Cut alcohol intake as much as possible.

  1. Try a fat-burning supplement, such as CLA, but uses these sparingly.

  1. Allow yourself a small portion of a “cheat” food once a week to satisfy cravings.

  1. Eat your complex carbohydrates before 6 PM.

Two final factors to keep in mind that will have a profound effect on your weight loss: get 7-8 hours of sleep consistently, and try to control stress, as both significantly impact metabolism.

Your weight loss plan will succeed if you track your changes, and view them as an on-going process rather than focusing on immediate end results. Get your friends and family involved for emotional support, so you have people with whom to share struggles and celebrate triumphs!
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